Toshiba unveils notebook and desktop replacements

Toshiba has announced three new laptop computers: a multimedia notebook and two "desktop replacement" notebooks that use desktop...

Toshiba has announced three new laptop computers: a multimedia notebook and two "desktop replacement" notebooks that use desktop processors.

The Satellite 1905-S303 and the Satellite 1955-S803 are designed for use as somewhat-portable PCs for home or small office use, according to Toshiba.

The S303 uses a desktop 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processor from Intel and weighs 3.72 kilos, while the S803 is powered by a 2.5GHz Pentium 4 and weighs 4.32 kilos.

"These notebooks are designed for people who want to be mobile, but not on a regular basis," said Oscar Koenders, vice-president of product marketing and worldwide product planning for Toshiba.

Toshiba's notebooks with desktop processors have come under fire from analysts and users for the excess heat generated by desktop processors.

In a desktop chassis, this heat is dissipated, but the smaller notebooks retain more heat, which can cause the processor to throttle back its clock speed or shut down altogether.

Owners of Toshiba's Satellite 5005 series filed a class-action lawsuit against the company in August, claiming Toshiba was aware the desktop processors would cause problems in those notebooks.

The two new notebooks will not suffer from this problem, according to Toshiba.

"We are talking about a completely different machine," with the 1900 series, said Koenders. "These notebooks are larger than the 5005 series and include additional heat shields."

A sample configuration of the S303 with the 2.4GHz Pentium 4, 512Mbytes of RAM, a 40Gbyte hard drive, a 15-inch thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display, ATI Technologies' Mobility Radeon graphics card, two universal serial bus (USB) ports and a DVD-Rom/CD-RW drive costs an estimated $1,999 (£1,284).

The S803, with a 2.5GHz Pentium 4, 512Mbytes of RAM, a 60Gbyte hard drive, a 16-inch SXGA display, Nvidia's GeForce4 440 Go graphics card, three USB ports and a DVD-Rom/CD-RW drive, will cost an estimated $2,799.

The S803 also comes with integrated 802.11b wireless connectivity, which allows Toshiba to package a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse with the notebook.

The other Toshiba notebook, the Satellite 5205-S503, is designed for high-end consumers who want to use their notebooks for multimedia applications, such as viewing DVD movies. It features a customisable bay which can accommodate an additional hard drive, battery, or optical media drive, Koenders said.

Intel's Mobile Pentium 4-M processor is used in the S503, which alleviates the need for heavier heat shields or more expensive heat sinks. The notebook will come with Nvidia's GeForce 460 graphics card, which uses 32Mbytes of graphics memory.

A sample configuration with a 2.0GHz Mobile Pentium 4-M, 512Mbytes of RAM, a 40Gbyte hard drive, three USB 2.0 ports, and a remote control will cost $2,199.

The standard lithium-ion battery offers up to three hours of battery life, and the notebook weighs 3.47 kilos.

All three notebooks are available immediately through Toshiba's Web site or retail stores.

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